Hi, I’m Kerry Hales. I’ve worked for myself for two years full time and ten years part time. I’ve run a marathon, jumped out of numerous aeroplanes and jumped off a very tall bridge with an elastic band taped to my ankles; I like to live life to the full!
And next, what’s your business all about?
My business is about empowering people. It has gone through many changes; I took a lot of time to work out that I had to stop faffing around trying to decide who would be most fun to coach. I like diversity and finally I realised that although I love one-to-one coaching, I LOVE groups so that’s where my focus is right now. I work for myself. At times I get help with marketing and for my website. I do all my own social media work.
2014 is going to be a big year for me. It will be more group work, workshops and online groups. My aim for my business is to reach more women and get them realising their unique potential. I love crawling around in people’s heads to find what they love to do – drag it out – and for them to find it, love it and be it. There really isn’t anything better. It’s weird, but it’s what I do.
What top tips can you share with other (female) business owners?
- Get a mentor. Make sure you listen to those who want more for you, not the same.
- Entrepreneurs are a weird bunch, you will know them, we stand out. Hang out with those who are doing, not talking about doing.
- Think about it, pick what you want and stick with it.
- Learn as you go, make mistakes, love them and leave them and move on to making the next one.
- Don’t read too many books or go on another seminar. You know much more than you think you do. It’s the doing it you need to do.
- Love what you do. You are gonna spend all your time thinking about it.
- If there was only one rule in life and that was to have as much fun as you possibly could, would you do what you are doing now? If not, that’s OK. Keep looking; you will find it if you seek it.
What did you struggle with most in your start-up phase and how did you solve that?
Picking a niche. Aargh, did I struggle! I love coaching and any kind of empowering people is my thing. I got results with everyone I coached so it was difficult to nail that and I took a long time to fathom that out. I learned to get over myself really. Now I know I need to be in front of a room and share it bigger. So the goal is scary, but that’s right up my alley!
What have you learned about yourself while working solo?
I need a structure, a big hairy-arsed one. It has to be specific and I need accountability, be that my groups, one-to-one clients or social media. My week has to have a structure that results by Thursday night in my feeling I have achieved something. Without it my week is flying by and at the end of it I am feeling pretty shitty about myself and my lack of business. Structure soothes me. I love it and hate it. Second to that is meeting with like-minded people. Not coffee and chats – they are a WASTE OF YOUR TIME – coffee with inspirational people. I get energy from others and I need to inject that into my week.
Did you choose self-employment or did it choose you? Any regrets?
None. I would have loved to have been better focused at the beginning but I work for the biggest bitch I know. But it’s OK, I love her. I got made redundant in 2011 and so that took the part-time job away. Now it’s me and you.
What one story would you share to encourage newbies?
I went to meet my current mentor at a preview evening and a guy there was talking about his life, how he only played golf. That was it. It brought up so much anger in me that he sat there talking about this life he had “created”. I will never forget all the emotions I had that night and over the following days. I was commuting to London and I sat and watched everyone looking very miserable and, then again, on the way home, tired and miserable. I had never stopped my life before and really looked at what I wanted.
My advice is to stop your life. Take a good look around and if there is someone really pissing you off about the life they lead, through being happy, what lessons can you take from it? I couldn’t go back from that day. It was my turning point. I was living a good life, believe me. I could afford a lot of “things” I loved and I did a lot of great things like travelling etc. But when you step into a life of personal development you never go back. Never. Once you know that you are here for something other than passing time, you really are living.
Describe some of the ways that clients can work with you as their coach, Kerry
I live and love Whitstable, Kent. My Empowering Women group coaching classes are based there. They are coming to Herts in 2014 and also Maidstone. So if you want me face-to-face, that’s how. I offer 1-2-1 coaching programmes also and in 2014 I am starting online groups too. They are all about finding what you really want and getting it.
Do you feel lonely or isolated when working for yourself? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? How do you get your social needs met?
Being an extrovert, I love to be with people. I have a list of things that I do to make sure I get out and about, else I go a little batty and not in a good way! So I knit and go to a group once a week, I am a parent governor at my boys’ school. I go to group exercise classes and I make sure I get out every day to see and talk to someone other than my family.
How can readers keep in touch with you?
Find out more at my website: KerryHales.com